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 When a couple decides that they’re ready to take the next step in their relationship by starting a family, there is no small amount of joy and anticipation wrapped up in the process. However, it could also signal a stressful time for many adults. Bringing a baby into the world is not only a major responsibility, but the simple act of getting pregnant can create a lot of pressure in the relationship, especially if months go by without conception, despite your best efforts. In fact, you may start to wonder if issues with infertility are the reason you’ve been unable to conceive. While you don’t want to jump to conclusions or start playing the blame game (after all, it could be nothing more than bad timing), you might want to think about seeing a doctor to check for possible problems. Or if you’re hesitant to take that step, at least consider potential warning signs that you’re having fertility issues that need to be addressed. Here are a few common signs that women can watch for.

Top 5 Infertility Warning Signs in Women

  1. Inability to Conceive.

  2. The first indication for many women that they are having fertility issues is that they have been unable to conceive after an extended period of trying to get pregnant. If you have been trying for a year with no success, it may be time to call your doctor. Keep in mind that women who have taken birth control for years may have to wait a little longer once they’ve stopped. But it is generally agreed that after a year of concentrated efforts, a lack of conception could signal problems in the fertility department (and both partners should be checked).

  3. Irregular Menstrual Cycle.

  4. If you’ve always had irregular menstrual cycles, it could be a good indication that getting pregnant won’t be as easy as counting days on the calendar. Irregularity could come in the form of periods that start early or late, that are longer or shorter than average, that are heavier or lighter than average, or that include painful cramps. These symptoms could just be linked to your personal chemistry, but they could also signal more serious issues, so if you suffer from irregularities with your menstrual cycle and you’re having trouble getting pregnant, talking to your gynecologist or a fertility specialist is advisable.

  5. Age and Weight.

  6. Both your age and your weight could play a major role in conception. For example, women over the age of forty are not only less likely to conceive, but they may be prone to additional problems associated with carrying a baby to term. So it’s not a bad idea to consult with a doctor before trying to conceive in order to ensure that you take all the right steps for a healthy pregnancy. As for your weight, carrying around extra pounds could certainly impair conception. Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem to fix as fertility issues go.

  7. Reproductive Health.

  8. Whether you have dealt with issues like fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, or other reproductive health issues for years or these conditions are something new, you should know that they can affect your ability to conceive. Often, there are treatments that can help you to overcome these conditions in order to ensure good reproductive health and increase your odds of pregnancy, but diagnosis is a crucial first step.

  9. Medical Conditions.

  10. Aside from reproductive issues that could stymie your fertile future, general medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, thyroid problems, and STDs could be to blame for infertility. In some cases, medical treatments can improve your health and your chances of conceiving a child. But you may have to turn to other options if the therapies you undergo are not enough to boost fertility.